Zimbabwe urges farmers who got land to produce more food to combat inflation

HARARE, 2008 (AFP) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday called on beneficiaries of his government’s land reforms to work harder on farms to avert food shortages, at a ceremony ahead of this month’s elections. He said government investment in farm equipment “should see us greatly reduce the incidence of food shortages in future”.

“What now remains is for every farmer to roll up their sleeves and till the land for the prosperity of our motherland Zimbabwe,” he added at the ceremony in Harare, where he commissioned equipment to be distributed to fledgling farmers.

“Then we would have lived up to the theme of our election campaign which enjoins us to defend our land and national sovereignty.”

Mugabe urged supporters to back his ruling party in general elections on March 29, vowing to forge ahead with his controversial land policies and pledging to continue with programmes to support farmers and disadvantaged rural communities.

“We just don’t want to win,” he said. “We want to win resoundingly so that the British can feel the heat that they have been beaten at it.

“Whatever the adversity, the harsh effects of sanctions, the machinations of our enemies … we are on a march never to surrend